Utilities COVID-19 Updates#
We are committed to continuing to deliver reliable electric, water, wastewater and stormwater services for our customers 24/7.
Important Changes Related to COVID-19#
Like many utilities, we have not turned off utility services due to non-payment since March 2020. Learn more about the payment assistance opportunities available.
We are here to help you. If you have questions, please contact us at 970-212-2900.
Water Quality Flushing
When building occupancy decreases significantly (as it may have throughout the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order), the water held within the building’s plumbing system can deteriorate. Learn what steps to take to ensure the best water quality as building open back up and employees return to work.
Residential customers whose electric or water accounts are past-due may request payment assistance once per 12-month period (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30). In addition, please call us at 970-212-2900 to set up a payment plan to avoid falling further behind or having your utilities disconnected.
Utilities Customer Service Lobby Open
Utilities customer service lobby reopened Monday, June 15. Hours are M-Th, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Extended phone service hours remain 7 a.m.-7 p.m., M-F, and 8 a.m.-noon, Saturdays.
Payments still can be made online, over the phone, by mail, via drop box, First National Bank or other third-party locations.
Entering Homes or Businesses
Utilities and Fort Collins Connexion are following all distancing and safety protocols for operations that require staff to enter homes or businesses.
Utilities COVID-19 Dashboard
See how COVID-19 is impacting our electric and water use, as well as the amount of wastewater treated at our water reclamation facilities. Numbers are updated and presented to Council monthly.
Utilities partners with local organizations to provide bill payment assistance including Catholic Charities Larimer County and La Familia/The Family Center.
Affordability and Bill Payment Resources#
Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
LEAP helps with wintertime heating costs and establishes eligibility for other programs, including the Income-Qualified Assistance Program.
Income-Qualified Assistance Program (IQAP)
IQAP is a reduced electric, water and/or wastewater rate that provides 23% off certain elements of these services. The program also facilitates efficiency and conservation opportunities to further lower bills.
Medical Assistance Program (MAP)
Qualifying households that require medically necessary electrical equipment or air conditioning may receive a discounted electric rate.
Important Utility Information#
We have implemented our Continuity of Operations Plans to ensure operations and service deliveries continue as usual and are partnering with other utility agencies for mutual aid. With each service we provide, we have implemented Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) best practices, including social/physical distancing and cleanliness to the best of our ability, while working in a safe manner. For example, you might see more City vehicles at a job site than usual and/or crews taking more time at a job site than normal. The care of our employees is critical.
- Sign up for e-Bill.
- Call 970-212-2900 for 24/7 automated service.
- Mail your payment (do not mail cash).
- Use a drop box for non-cash payments.
- Pay in cash at a First National Bank drive through.
- Use a third party like King Soopers or Walmart (note: requires extra processing time)
Crews continue to respond to electric outages, water main breaks and other service-related issues. Utilities may have a delayed response time in the event of service disruptions. However, be assured our crews are being mobilized, based on staffing and required PPE, to maintain service levels for our community.
Check for known issues. If you do not see information about the outage or issue of concern, please report it:
- Electric outages: 970-221-6710
- Water main breaks: 970-221-6700
- Stormwater/flooding alerts: 970-221-6700
The Hauled Waste Transfer Station hours at the Drake Water Reclamation Facility are 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
We are following CDC’s recommendation to suspend in-person educational and training programs and events until further notice. When possible, events will be conducted through a remote option.
With TOD, the price you pay for your electric use changes based on the time of day, day of the week and season. TOD has two levels of pricing: off-peak and on-peak, and two seasons: non-summer and summer. Off-peak prices are approximately 70% less than on-peak prices. You can save money by shifting your electric use to the lower-priced, off-peak hours or by reducing your overall use.
- Off-peak hours: 19-20 hours each weekday (depending on the season), all weekend hours and major holidays
- Major holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas (as observed)
- On-peak summer hours (May 1 - Sept. 30): 2-7 p.m., weekdays only
- On-peak non-summer hours (Oct. 1 - April 30): 5-9 p.m., weekdays only
Since the implementation of TOD, results show most customers are saving money on their monthly bill. The switch to TOD pricing was not a rate increase, rather it was designed to generate the same amount of revenue on an annual basis as the previous rate structure.
- Learn ways to lower electric costs while working from home.
- See additional tips.
- Find out how much it costs to run common household appliances and electronics (AC, dryer, fan, computer, TV, etc.).
Please email us if you have questions or would like more information.
With concerns about COVID-19, there is increased use of disinfecting wipes and other products like tissues, paper towels, and napkins. Even if a product claims to be ‘flushable,’ it can cause problems in our sanitary sewer system, potentially leading to a blocked sewer line, property damage and extra expenses for repairs.
Wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, paper towels, facial tissues, napkins, diapers, makeup remover pads and dental floss don’t break down. Always throw them in the trash and do NOT recycle or flush them.
Safe, reliable drinking water is always our top priority. We want to reassure you that your drinking water is safe to use from your tap as usual, as confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Water Works Association (AWWA). We will continue to monitor water quality 24/7 at our treatment plants and throughout our community.
- As an "essential critical infrastructure," Utilities is following CDC’s guidelines and requirements to provide essential services and work on construction projects.
- Personal protection equipment (PPE) is used to ensure safe working areas when social distancing cannot be maintained, including in confined spaces.
- When crews are working, we also ask community members to respect social distancing guidelines and allow them to do their work.
When building occupancy decreases significantly (as it may have throughout the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order), the water held within the building’s plumbing system can deteriorate. When water is not used regularly, the chlorine residual levels can decrease, which may result in a lower level of drinking water quality in these buildings.
Fort Collins Utilities continues to ensure water in our main lines is high-quality and safe; however, many customers are not aware that it is their responsibility to flush their water service lines and internal plumbing. Keeping water from getting stagnant is even more critical when buildings have had low or no occupancy.
How Can You Help?
As buildings open back up and employees return to work, you will need to ‘flush’ your facility’s plumbing lines to ensure you are receiving the highest quality water. Building flushing helps decrease risks from bacterial growth and metals that can accumulate when water sits in pipes for extended periods of time.
If you are unable to flush your water lines before employees return, we recommend posting a notice on drinking fountains and near faucets in kitchens and bathroom areas that advises them not to drink the water until the following steps have been taken.
These Steps Will Get the Water Flowing
Fort Collins Utilities recommends the following steps (every building will be different depending on plumbing configuration, building size and number of faucets):
- Begin at one of the farthest sinks from the water main (usually located on the highest floor, farthest from the street).
- Turn on the COLD water faucet and let it run until the water flowing out is consistently cold (see below paragraph for time estimations). Do not attempt to flush by running the hot water.
- After this, you can run the COLD water from each fixture throughout the building until that water also runs cold.
While flushing times will vary, Utilities estimates approximately 10 minutes for daily flushing in buildings with low occupancy and 30-45 minutes weekly for unoccupied buildings. The key is to flush the lines until the water runs cold.
Another option is to flush toilets, remembering to begin with those located farthest from the water main (same general location as the faucets referenced above).
What about Ice Machines?
It is also recommended that after the lines in your building are flushed, the ice machine be emptied of remaining ice and not used for a minimum of 24 hours, emptying any ice made throughout that timeframe.
Fort Collins Utilities’ Water Quality Laboratory staff continues to collect weekly samples at sites throughout the distribution system to ensure our water meets all standards for safe, high-quality drinking water. Following the steps above will help ensure you are getting the highest possible water quality during this time when buildings have low or no occupancy.
If you have questions about building flushing practices or your water quality in general, please email UtilitiesCustomerAccounts@fcgov.com or call 970-416-4268.
Center of Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html
The Grease Interceptor Inspection Program will resume soon. If your facility has a grease trap or interceptor, please ensure that it is maintained for efficient removal of solids (fats, oils and grease, or FOG). City policy requires that interceptors be cleaned at a frequency that ensures FOG does not occupy greater than 33% of the interceptor inlet chamber capacity. This is a protective policy for the City’s sanitary sewer.
According to the EPA, stormwater pollution is the number one cause of water pollution in the country. Common sources of pollutants include food and beverages, disposable items like napkins, plastic utensils and straws, cleaning products, cooking oil/grease and pressure washing waste. The best way to protect our local streams and the organisms that inhabit them is to prevent pollution in the first place.
- Customer Service: 970-212-2900
- Service Outages and Disruptions: fcgov.com/outages
- Electric outages: 970-221-6710
- Water, Stormwater, Wastewater service disruptions: 970-221-6700
- Stormwater/flooding alerts: 970-221-6700
- V/TDD: Dial 711 for Relay Colorado
- Economic Health Office: fcgov.com/business
- Utilities Customer Accounts: UtilitiesCustomerAccounts@fcgov.com or 970-416-4268
- Follow Us: @FCUtilities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Updated: April 8